*M7 is dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship in Qatar’s growing fashion and design industry
Qatar Museums (QM) will inaugurate next month a new five-storey, 29,000sq m (312,000sq ft) facility known as M7, dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship in the nation’s growing fashion and design industry.
This was announced by QM chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani Wednesday in a statement.
Located in the heart of Msheireb Downtown Doha, M7 is to be inaugurated as part of the annual #QatarCreates celebration, to be held in Doha from March 24 to 27.
#QatarCreates will include: The presentation of the second annual Fashion Trust Arabia Prize; a benefit gala and fashion show hosted by Naomi Campbell at M7 and Msheireb’s central square, the Baraha, in support of Fashion for Relief and Education Above All.
#QatarCreates is to witness the debut in Msheireb of a suite of townhouses created by design legends including Diane von Furstenberg, Armani Casa, and India Mahdavi; the opportunity for members of the public to book appointments with world-renowned beauty artists such as Dr Barbara Sturm at the Park Hyatt Hotel and Dr Georgia Louise at the Mandarin Oriental; and the Qatar Africa Business Forum at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Yet another salient aspect of #QatarCreates is the opening of six major QM exhibitions. A Falcon’s Eye: Tribute to Sheikh Saoud al-Thani at the Museum of Islamic Art will open to the public from March 25, 2020 to January 2, 2021.
Splendours of the Ancient East: Antiquities from Al Sabah Collection at the National Museum of Qatar is to open to the public from March 26 to July 1, 2020. Yto Barrada: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nougat; Huguette Caland: Faces and Places; and Lived Forward: Art and Culture in Doha from 1960-2020 at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art will open to the public from March 25 to August 26. Picasso’s Studios at Doha Fire Station is to open to the public from March 15 to July 1.
Additionally, a series of cultural tours as well as fashion talks and panel discussions will be announced soon.
M7 is founded to: advance the careers of Qataris in creative industries, especially design and fashion; train aspiring entrepreneurs in creative fields; spark creativity in people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, performances, films, educational programmes, and public discussions; and help connect Qatar’s innovators with the world.
The name M7 acknowledges the seven goals that guided the creation of this new creative resource: accelerate (support the development of the country’s design community), connect (link creative people and industry), inspire (spark excitement through exhibitions), complement (provide material support to designers), equip (provide training, infrastructure, and mentoring), promote (put design at the centre of life in Msheireb Downtown Doha), and empower (promote sustainable business practices).
Envisioned to serve Qatar’s emerging creative industries, M7 is positioned as the cultural, educational, and entrepreneurial centerpiece of Msheireb Downtown Doha. M7 will feature training, workshop, and incubator spaces.
M7 will inaugurate its ground-floor gallery with the special exhibition Azzedine Alaïa “Je suis couturier”, a tribute to the achievements of the renowned Tunisian-born French designer Azzedine Alaïa (1935-2017).
The exhibition is organised in collaboration with Association Azzedine Alaïa and curated by Olivier Saillard. The title is taken from one of Alaïa’s famous quotes: “I am not a designer, I am a couturier.” The exhibition features more than three dozen iconic dresses from Alaïa’s collections spanning the course of 25 years. The exhibition comes as part of the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture.
Msheireb Downtown Doha, the mixed-use development that is reviving Doha’s historic core as a sustainable new live-work neighbourhood, has been developed by Qatar Foundation.
“Because the future of Qatar depends on cultivating the creative potential of all its citizens, Qatar Museums has developed M7 to raise public awareness of the vast influence of fashion and design as an industry and to provide much-needed support for Qatar’s own burgeoning creative sector, from concept design to the production line,” Sheikha Al Mayassa said.
“We are grateful to Qatar Foundation, headed by its chairperson Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, for initiating the Msheireb Downtown Doha project, for our M7 partners Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar and Qatar Development Bank and of course, the contributions of the private sector,” Sheikha Al Mayassa added.
Clustered in the dense, mid-rise Msheireb Downtown Doha - one of the world’s largest concentrations of LEED-certified buildings - are residences, shops, restaurants, offices, government buildings, and the Jalmood Mosque, plus parks, plazas, a medical center, and an international school.
In addition to M7, cultural facilities include four historic heritage house museums, which stand just off the canopied Barahat Al-Nouq, the largest sheltered public square in the region.